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One of the Falcons, the Nankeen Kestral can be found across the entire Australian mainland as well as Tasmania. It’s a small falcon that uses rapid wing beats to soar on flat wings while fanning its tail feathers while looking for prey. They eat other birds, mice, reptiles and flying insects like dragonflies. I was on a visit to Sydney and had walked up to the top of Long Reef, a coastal promontory on Sydney’s northern beaches (once a volcano), when this Kestral blew up the cliff face in front and hovered above me. I only managed a couple of quick shots before it moved on.
The Masked Lapwing is a large plover with yellow facial wattles that make it look like it is dressed for a Mardi-Gras parade. I am particularly fond of these birds as they seem to just potter about, happy to peck at the ground and mind their own business. They wander in grassy spaces, whether suburbia or the parklands and seem to emit a radiant calm.
Figbirds are Orioles, the stocky cousin of the longer-tailed bird, but with a pleasant warbling song. They are sociable birds and usually like to travel in flocks, but this pair has been appearing on the wild tobacco tree on their own. The female has a streaked breast and brown/olive green back. You can just see the male below her with his black head and red/pink skin rimming his eye. This earlier post captures his face front on. Two forms occur, this pair belong to the southern form as the male had a grey breast and green abdomen. The other type is the northern form, where the males have a yellow breast and a yellow abdomen. The females of the two forms are undistinguishable.
I love well designed buildings and adore aesthetically appealing details that leave me nodding with appreciation or gasping with delight.
While most modern buildings in China mimic the traditional rectangular apartment blocks of the West, block being the key word, the older, traditional Chinese buildings and Buddhist temples are full of interesting and beautiful features.
The dragon carving was at the entrance to a Buddhist temple in Fengjing, a water town in Shunde District, that is part history lesson and part living community. The curving wall is part of a Museum Garden, a very old house and garden that is open to the public. Whether it’s the line of a roof at a monastery, a shapely wall or a painting on a temple ceiling, these are the gems to seek out.